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MLB roundup: Rangers' Cruz preparing for possible return

The SportsXchange

Suspended Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz is expected to report to the team's instructional league next week, an indication that the team may activate him for the playoffs, CBSSports.com reported Friday.

It is uncertain, however, if he fits into the Rangers' long-term plans. The Rangers reportedly turned down a four-year, $56 million contract proposal from Cruz's agents last winter.

Since then, Cruz switched from the Levinson brothers' ACES agency to Adam Katz to represent him.

Cruz's 50-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs and his age -- 33 -- are two factors the Rangers are considering as he will be a free agent at the end of the year. Cruz was batting .269 with 27 home runs and 76 RBI at the time of his suspension in early August.

Manager Ron Washington has said he would like Cruz on the postseason roster, should the Rangers get there.

---Suspended Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun has been calling season ticket holders to apologize for using performance-enhancing drugs, according to CBS58.com.

The Brewers told the Milwaukee TV station that Braun requested contact information for some of the ticket holders, and some confirmed that they had been contacted by Braun.

Braun was suspended 65 games by Major League Baseball earlier this year.

---The St. Louis Cardinals activated Jake Westbrook from the disabled list, but they are not putting him back in the starting rotation yet, according to the St. Louis Dispatch.

Westbrook was placed on the disabled list with a back injury after a disappointing stretch in which he allowed 26 runs in 21 innings. He last pitched on August 21.

The Cardinal are still trying to decide what role Westbrook will fill, according to the Dispatch report.

---New York Mets relief pitcher Scott Rice, who leads the National League in appearances with 73, will undergo hernia surgery and will be out the rest of the season, Newsday reported.

Rice is 4-5 with a 3.71 ERA this year.

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